Last month, two separate former New York Post employees filed lawsuits against the paper alleging that it was a hotbed of racism and discrimination. Now, another Post reporter has joined one of the suits, with new allegations of racist idiocy.
Ikimilusa Livingston—a black woman who is still a working General Assignment Post reporter (and has been for 13 years), who used to cover courts—has joined the suit filed last month by Austin Fenner, a veteran black Post reporter who was fired in November (after editor Sandra Guzman, who filed her own similar lawsuit). In his original suit, Fenner alleged "pervasive discrimination and harassment" at the Post, based on race.
The suit has now been updated to include Livingston's own complaints, which echo Fenner's. She says she was effectively banned from the newsroom (indeed, when we called her today the City Desk transferred us to her cell phone, apparently because she has no office phone):
Livingston says in her complaint that she was paid less than white colleagues with less experience, and denied stories she wanted to write. Like the others, she says that after she complained about the infamous Dead Chimpanzee cartoon, the company put her on its shit list and gave her poor performance reviews. Perhaps her juiciest allegation:Steve Dunleavy, recently retired legendary drunk Post columnist, was a huge racist:
She also says in her complaint that her white editors shot down her story ideas and passed off her work to white reporters. For example:
When we contacted Livingston today she referred us to Ken Thompson, her lawyer. "Not one white reporter has been banned from the newsroom," Thompson told us, pointing out that both Fenner and Livingston say they have—since December of 2008, in Livingston's case. "You have to conclude it was based on her race."
Thompson said it was rare for someone to file a suit like Livingston's while still employed at the place she's suing, but that she was seeking to improve working conditions for reporters of the future. Fenner and Livingston are seeking economic damages related to lower wages due to discrimination (and, for Fenner, unemployment); compensatory damages for their emotional distress; and punitive damages, to punish News Corp and the Post.
The company is due to file its own response to Guzman's lawsuit this month, and to Fenner and Livingston's suit in January, according to Thompson.